As you should be aware by now, from Monday 19th July 2021, all Covid-19 restrictions will end in the UK. Although I’m looking forward to enjoying some forms of normality, I still have concerns about all restrictions lifting.
It’s fair to say I’m torn on the face mask rule. I agree they are irritating to put on and wear, to the stage I got myself a face mask exemption card due to the difficulties of it slipping down my nose or pinging off my ears and not having the ability to adjust it independently.
However, the idea that people around me will no longer be wearing face masks does worry me. You do not know who has had the vaccine, whether they’ve been to a foreign country or if more variants could be spreading that can’t be protected by the vaccines.
I agree face masks shouldn’t be worn in every setting but in more crowded places such as on public transport and in large venues or when using close contact services such as in hospitals or salons.
There are also concerns about whether health and social care workers should still continue to wear face masks when caring for patients and clients.
I’m personally not concerned as I have two live-in carers that are part of my bubble but I am concerned for my disabled friends and peers who are more vulnerable and have multiple carers enter their homes.
Politicians keep saying people can judge it for themselves and use common sense but in my experience, most people don’t have common sense, including politicians themselves!
I would still like to see some level of social distancing measures in place, not only to keep safe from Covid-19 or any other viruses, but also so that there is more space for wheelchair users to navigate shops, pubs and other public places.
I recently went to Festival Place shopping centre in Basingstoke for the first time in over a year and noticed some shops had widen their aisles to help customers maintain social distancing.
But this benefited me more as I could browse the shops with ease and without squeezing through tight gaps or getting my arm caught on clothes racks.
Unlimited number of people
Although I’m craving to go back to gigs, festivals, theatres and exhibitions, I still have some doubts about all entertainment and hospitality re-opening.
Firstly, I am looking forward to the possibility of reuniting with my entire drama group at the West End Centre. For the past few weeks, we’ve had to divide ourselves into two classes of eight to maintain social distancing.
But hopefully, from next term, we can have the full 16 of us back together, which will make rehearsals much easier and more enjoyable.
I’m also hoping to go the disability exhibition Naidex with my colleagues at Disability Horizons in September. The fact that 90% of the guests and exhibitors will be clinically extremely vulnerable or high risk and/or been vaccinated should mean this is the safest event in the country.
However, with things like gigs, festivals and nightclubs, I’m concerned because not everyone is fully vaccinated, either because they’re in the younger group and still awaiting their second dose, or they are just dicks refusing to take the vaccine.
In my opinion, the only people who should be allowed to attend these events should be fully vaccinated people or those who have a medical reason why they cannot have the vaccine.
Working from home
I’ve never found working from home a restriction, but a liberation because I’m able to access work and education in an accessible and independent way.
I’m not saying everyone should work from home and people who prefer to be in the office with their colleagues should still do so.
However, there should be the flexibility for employees to continue working from home should they wish. This will particularly benefit workers with disabilities and health conditions who may still feel happier to isolate for a bit longer or not having to worry about travelling and PA support.
Plus, if more people continue to work from home it will benefit the environment as they will be less cars on the road. Also, Covid-19 will be less likely to spread if people are not travelling to work.
Foreign holidays are by far the worst thing to do while the pandemic continues. There are so many risks like bringing in more variants, the country may be moved to the red list meaning quarantine is mandatory and that could cause staff shortages for businesses and services whose employees end up needing more time off to isolate. But also, there would be a mad panic back to the UK from green or amber countries before they turn red, which will also cause a rise in cases.
I’m also astounded that under 18s who are not vaccinated can go abroad meaning 16- & 17-year-olds will be going on their first girls/lads holidays, being irresponsible and bring more Covid cases back to the UK.
In addition, although I am against this, why can British residents travel abroad but the UK are still banning foreign visitors from entering the country? It sounds like the travel industries abroad are allowed visitors, but the British tourist industries are not allowed foreign visitors.
All in all, I think foreign holidays are still a stupid idea and should continue to be banned for the rest of the year!
So, they are my thoughts on ending all Covid-19 restrictions in the UK. What are your thoughts? Do you agree society should fully re-open or do you still have doubts and concerns and will continue to be cautious? Share what you think in the comments box or social media.
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